I am a student in network engineering, and I have a technical essay due on November 18th. I can choose the topic of the essay myself. I have a conceptual idea of a network that could help obfuscate the geolocation of a mobile device. If you could give me some quick feedback on my ideas, that would be much appreciated. To narrow the scope of my essay, I am not going to consider the legal aspects of my scheme, but I am well aware of the issue.
Suppose you have a distributed, nationwide network of nodes that have the ability to act as mobile stations. These nodes know the secret key of your SIM card, Ki, and your IMSI. Whenever you complete some active session with your phone, your phone will "power off" to the ISP's network, and tell the nodes in the network to start acting as your own phone. The nodes will take turns to connect to the network with your Ki and send gibberish data packets. To the eyes of the ISP, it will appear as if you teleport around the country, making it hard to pinpoint your real location.
For this to have a chance at working, I can see that at least the following assumptions must be met:
- The nodes need to physically move around, or else they would be mapped to a static location and blacklisted by the ISP.
- Your phone needs to "power off" between every active session. No keep-alive packets, no status updates, no compliance to unsolicited base station requests in general. I'm aware that this will be detrimental to QoS.
- Communication between your phone and the nodes must be sent through a channel that protects the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of your data, the TOR network etc..
- All data sent from your phone must be encrypted. This makes it much harder for the ISP to discern legitimate data from your real phone from gibberish data sent from network nodes.
There are probably several other, necessary assumptions that I have not considered.
A glaring problem with this scheme that I am aware of, is that the ISP could simply terminate the service of any subscriber that showed this sort of behaviour. But besides that issue, are you able to see any other obvious drawbacks to this idea that I need to consider in my essay?